Sunday November 17, 2019
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Quit Smoking Else Develop Depression Or Schizophrenia

Study says that smoking cigarettes can increase the risk of developing depression

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Developing depression
Quit smoking as researchers have found that tobacco smoking may increase your risk of developing depression and schizophrenia. Pixabay

If you are a regular smoker, quit now as researchers have found that tobacco smoking may increase your risk of developing depression and schizophrenia.

“Individuals with mental illness are often overlooked in our efforts to reduce smoking prevalence, leading to health inequalities,” said study lead author Robyn Wootton from the University of Bristol.

“Our work shows that we should be making every effort to prevent smoking initiation and encourage smoking cessation because of the consequences to mental health as well as physical health,” Wootton added.

For the study, published in the journal Psychological Medicine, the research team used UK Biobank data from 462,690 individuals of European ancestry, comprising 8 per cent current smokers and 22 per cent former smokers.

Smokers suffering form depression
Smoking can have adverse effects on mental health and develops the risk of depression. Pixabay

The team applied an analytic approach called Mendelian randomisation, which uses genetic variants associated with an exposure (e.g. smoking) to support stronger conclusions about cause-and-effect relationships.

“The increasing availability of genetic data in large studies, together with the identification of genetic variants associated with a range of behaviours and health outcomes, is transforming our ability to use techniques such as Mendelian randomisation to understand causal pathways,” said study senior author Marcus Munafò.

“What this shows is that genetic studies can tell us as much about environmental influences – in this case the effects of smoking on mental health – as about underlying biology,” Munafo added.

Read Also-Smoking Increases Facial Ageing, Says Study

The research also suggests that smoking can have adverse effects on mental health.This new evidence adds further weight to support the implementation of smoke-free policies.

Not only is there evidence that smoking can be detrimental to mental health, but much of the excess mortality associated with depression is due to smoking, the study added. (IANS)

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Immune Cells Become Active and Repair Brain While Sleep: Study

For the findings, researchers conducted the study on mice

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Sleep
Study suggests that the enhanced remodeling of neural circuits and repair of lesions during Sleep may be mediated in part by the ability of microglia to dynamically interact with the Brain. Pixabay

Researchers have found that immune cells called microglia, which play an important role in reorganising the connections between nerve cells, fighting infections, and repairing damage, are also primarily active while we sleep.

Microglia serve as the brain’s first responders, patrolling the brain and spinal cord and springing into action to stamp out infections or gobble up debris from dead cell tissue.

“This research shows that the signals in our brain that modulate the sleep and awake state also act as a switch that turns the immune system off and on,” said study lead author Ania Majewska, Professor at University of Rochester in the US.

In previous studies, Majewska’s lab has shown how microglia interact with synapses, the juncture where the axons of one neuron connects and communicates with its neighbours.

The microglia help maintain the health and function of the synapses and prune connections between nerve cells when they are no longer necessary for brain function.

For the findings, researchers conducted the study on mice.

The current study points to the role of norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter that signals arousal and stress in the central nervous system.

This chemical is present in low levels in the brain while we sleep, but when production ramps up it arouses our nerve cells, causing us to wake up and become alert.

The study showed that norepinephrine also acts on a specific receptor, the beta2 adrenergic receptor, which is expressed at high levels in microglia.

When this chemical is present in the brain, the microglia slip into a sort of hibernation.

Sleep
Researchers have found that immune cells called microglia, which play an important role in reorganising the connections between nerve cells, fighting infections, and repairing damage, are also primarily active while we Sleep and affects Brain. Pixabay

The study, which employed an advanced imaging technology that allows researchers to observe activity in the living brain, showed that when mice were exposed to high levels of norepinephrine, the microglia became inactive and were unable to respond to local injuries and pulled back from their role in rewiring brain networks.

“This work suggests that the enhanced remodeling of neural circuits and repair of lesions during sleep may be mediated in part by the ability of microglia to dynamically interact with the brain,” said study first author Rianne Stowell.

ALSO READ: Scientists Link ‘Brain Fog’ to Body Illness

“Altogether, this research also shows that microglia are exquisitely sensitive to signals that modulate brain function and that microglial dynamics and functions are modulated by the behavioural state of the animal,” Stowell said.

The study was published in the journal Nature Neuroscience. (IANS)